Friday, April 29, 2005

May 2005 Cites and Insights Available

The May 2005 Cites and Insights is available.
For those unfamiliar with Cites and Insights, it is is a Web-based journal of libraries, policy, technology, and media. For more information go to About Cites and Insights.

In this issue:
  • Perspective: FMA: Watching the Way You Want-- comments on the
    Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, more specifically the Family
    Movie Act.
  • Balancing Rights -notes on on piracy, P2P, DRM, and more.
  • Offtopic Perspective: Family Classics 50 Movie Pack, Part 2 - more
    comments on more old movies, including a half-silent/half-sound movie,
    Fred Astaire on the walls and ceiling, and a silent movie with talking
    and sound throughout.
  • Ethical Perspective: Weblogging Ethics and Impact
  • Session Report: ACRL 2005 - Joy Weese Moll reports on "What's Next?
    Academic Libraries in a Google Environment"

I found the article Weblogging Ethics and Impact, particularly interesting.

North Carolina Hospital Features Patient Blogs on Its Web Site

I have been a little busy these last two days so I have been a little remiss about posting a few thing I thought would be of interest.

This came through on the Medlib list Wednesday.

North Carolina Hospital Features Patient Blogs on Its Web Site
"High Point Regional Health System in North Carolina is allowing patients to share their hospital experiences via blogs on the hospital's Web site, the Greensboro News & Record reports. The hospital introduced the blogs after hospital research showed that writing helps patients feel less anxious."

Wow what a creative and interesting way to use blogs in healthcare.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fake JCAHO Inspectors

A librarian on Medlib posted this to the email list yesterday, and I thought it was important to repost in the blog.

Fake Hospital Inspectors Probed
FBI Investigates Incidents at Facilities in Boston, Detroit, L.A.
By David Brown Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 22, 2005; Page A10

First paragraph:
"The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are looking into incidents in which people masquerading as unannounced inspectors were found poking around three hospitals in Boston, Detroit and Los Angeles."

This is something to be concerned about. Print this article out and give it to the appropriate powers that be in your hospitals.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wanted: Information From MLA Annual Meeting

Are you going to the MLA Annual Meeting in San Antonio?
Would you be interesting in contribuitng to the Krafty Librarian blog by writing daily summaries and/or a synopsis from a program?

If so please email me.

I want to thank Genevieve Gore, Coordinator of Web Site Development, McGill University Library for submitting her insights from the MLA Conference. You can read her entry here.

Creating the Digital Medical Library

Buyer Beware! I just saw this press release on Yahoo Finance.
Research and Markets:
Creating the Digital Medical Library
Wednesday April 27
DUBLIN, Ireland, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced the addition of Creating the Digital Medical Library to their offering.

Creating the Digital Medical Library profiles the electronic collection development and electronic library development policies of a sample of leading medical libraries including those of The Mayo Clinic, Cornell University, The University of Iowa, Columbia University, The University of Texas, The Medical College of Georgia and many others.

The report is interesting because it covers policies concerning electronic journals, archiving, e- books, electronic directories, database user training, use of alert service, virtual reference services, negotiating tactics with vendors, etc.

However, when you get to the Research and Markets page the report is dated June 2003!

This report is not free but it might be of some still be of value (I don't know, I didn't buy it). I think it is important to know that despite their recent press release the report is at least 2 years old. I am assuming that is the date of the report, which leads me to believe the data is older. Information on a subject like Digital Medical Library might be quickly out of date.

Medical Students and Residents Learning to Use Resources

Learning to use learning resources during medical school and residency
Marianna B. Shershneva, Henry B. Slotnick, and George C. Mejicano
J Med Libr Assoc. 2005 April; 93(2): 263–270.

Interesting article on how medical students and residents learn to use the resources they use during their medical education and practice. This study discovered that the participants Learned to use learning resources occurs while they sought to address instructional and clinical problems that physicians-in-training encounter. The natural history of learning to use learning resources must be recognized librarians and medical teachers. Specific recommendations are provided for librarians and medical teachers to facilitate the learning process.

While reading this article I was amazed at how little presence the library played in the actual participants learning of resources. It appeared that most participants learned how to use resources through trial and error and from their peers. As the article suggest this leads to huge implications in the way we teach the use of library resources.

Another article worth looking at is in the same issue of the Journal of Medical Library Association.

Information-seeking behavior of nursing students and clinical nurses: implications for health sciences librarians
Cheryl Dee and Ellen E. Stanley
J Med Libr Assoc. 2005 April; 93(2): 213–222.

Obviously this is from the nursing perspective, but again nursing students and clinical nurses were most likely to rely on peers and books for medical information. In addtion to books and peers they frequently used personal digital assistants, electronic journals and books, and drug representatives.

Wow it seems the whole medical profession needs help, we have our work cut out for us don't we.

2004 Revisions to Standards for Hospital Libraries

Standards for hospital libraries 2002 with 2004 revisions
Robin Ackley Hassig, Leeni Balogh, Margaret Bandy, Jacqueline Donaldson Doyle, Jeannine Cyr Gluck, Katherine Lois Lindner, Barbara Reich, and Douglas Varner
J Med Libr Assoc. 2005 April; 93(2): 282–283.

The complete “Standards for Hospital Libraries 2002 with 2004 Revisions” on the Hospital Libraries Section Website

It is a small 2 page article. There were some changes to the 2002 Standards bibliography, latest edition of the (JCAHO) Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals, the MLA policy statement on expert searching, and new web addresses. The biggest change in the standards is that Standard 6 has been expanded to include a definition of appropriate resources, technologies, and services available in a hospital library.

Standard 6: "The librarian provides evidence of an ongoing assessment of the knowledge-based information needs of the organization and the development and implementation of a plan to provide appropriate resources, services, and technology to meet those identified needs."

Standard 6 does mention using the Brandon/Hill selected lists for collection development.

"Examples include MLA's benchmarking survey, the “Brandon/Hill Selected List of Print Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library,” and other recognized resource guides for health sciences specialties"

We all know that the Brandon Hill lists are no longer being continued. The standards committee decided to currently retain that reference, but they will evaluate its usefulness in later standards revisions.

Personally I feel the committee should have eliminated the Brandon Hill lists reference completely. After all the phrase, "other recognized resource guides for health sciences specialties," covers any other new lists that might emerge, like Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences. I feel continuing to mention the Brandon Hill lists is a more of disservice to the standard.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Infinite Library

A link to this article was posted from the liblicense list.

The Infinite Library
By Wade Roush
May 2005

A long (5 pages) but very interesting view of Google's goal of digitizing several library collections of Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library. It discusses some of the difficulties that Google might face (including digitizing machines still under development) and it discusses some of the potential promises and pitfalls that libraries might encounter digitizing their collection with Google.

Reading this article one can't help but be reminded of Lindberg and Humphreys 2015-The Future of Medical Libraries in New England Journal of Medicine 2005 March 17 352;11 1067-1070. (NEJM not free online) which I blogged about March 17. In that article the authors looked at the transformation of libraries specifically in medical libraries and electronic resources.

You start to really envision the whole library without boundaries concept.

Tabloid Journalism in Medicine

Again, thank you Clare for forwarding this article to me. You have been so helpful, I should just have a news section entitled Clare's Clips.

Science Goes Tabloid In scientific journals, if it bleeds, it leads.
By Iain Murray
February 24, 2005

Brief excerpt:
"Some scientific journals are abandoning scientific neutrality in favor of policy stances and headline-grabbing scare stories, favoring style over substance."

What is interesting is this is happening in major journals like BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, Nature, etc. not some lesser fly by night journal. I guess I didn't realize how the mass media can be the tail that wagged the dog in scientific research. It is unsettling.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Litblogs...How Blogs Are Influencing Readers

Thanks Clare Leibfarth for forwarding this article from the Village Voice to me.

Book Smart
Could cyberspace be the novel's best friend? Litblogs take off-and grow up.
by Joy Press April 19th, 2005

Brief excerpt:
"Literati are increasingly turning to the blogs for discussion, gossip, analysis, and a sense of community. Inevitably, publishers have noticed the power of these informal networks to generate word-of-mouth buzz-the holy grail of marketing- and are looking for ways to harness it."

It is an interesting article and definitely a must read for any public librarian or blogger interested in books. What this article did for me was it made me think of other ways library blogs could impact things (books, journals, software, etc.) in the library.

For example: Library vendors and their products.
In my blog, I have written several comments about various products from vendors and whether I liked them, hated them, or was just satisfied with them. (example: Serials Solutions and their products Pros and Cons and Central Search) I have had vendors reply to my blog or email me in response to my praise and criticism (see Peter McCracken, Co-Founder of Serials Solutions response to my Central Search critique) .
Here you have the classic example of how the interactive communication of a blog works and how vendors (just like book publishers) are noticing the power of blogs.

Blog Etiquette... What Every Librarian Blogger Should Know and Follow

The Library Diva and I were emailing each other about blogging and professionalism and the discussion naturally progressed to blogging etiquette.

Blogging is rapidly growing, and every day more and more people decide to start their own blog. Most jump into the mix without any direction or thought. If your blog is a personal diary that you are using to communicate with family members then you really don't have to worry as much about blogger etiquette as you would about upsetting your mom about your late night drinking escapades.
However, there are more an more professional blogs popping up and it is amazing to see some glaring gaffes on these otherwise spectacular sites. These lapses in etiquette can taint an otherwise interesting and insightful blog.

I came up with a Top Ten List of Blogging Etiquette.
I compiled this list after reading Michael Stephens Tame the Web Blog, Ten Things a Blogging Librarian Must Do, Rebecca Blood's WebLog Ethics chapter and The Cyber Journalist's, A Bloggers' Code of Ethics. A special thanks to Karen Schneider's Free Range Librarian blog which directed me to these sites.

  1. Cite Your Sources! If you are mentioning a bit of news, cite where you got that information. If you are blogging about a topic that you read on another blog, mention that blog in your post and link to it. Obviously two blogs on the same topic will have similar posts and authors may actually independently post about the same thing if they get their news feeds from the same source. That speaks to the importance of that news item. But it is glaringly obvious when somebody has poached a post from another blog. The whole idea of blogging is links!
  2. Check Your Facts! Make sure what you have said is true. Don't go off re-posting something that is false or half truths. I liken this to those damn email hoaxes that I always get. Those emails only survive because people are too lazy to verify them on the multiple hoax sites. It is much easier to be shocked and then send them to 100 of your closest friends with a click of a button. If you post false information, it will perpetuate and have a life of its own.
  3. Persistence and Relevance! If you decide to blog realize it is a time commitment. Make an assessment as to how much time you can devote. All too often people have a good intentions and blog like there is no tomorrow, only to forget their "flavor of the year hobby." I have run into more interesting blog subjects only to be disappointed that they haven't been updated in a year. Also, think of what you want to write. If your topic is small and doesn't generate massive amounts of information, then don't blog just to blog. You will dilute your message and most likely get carpal tunnel syndrome.
  4. Re-read and Then Click Post! I admit I have fallen prey to this, but I try to re-read everything I have written before I publish it. I can always be better. Spelling errors, incomplete sentences, odd phrasing all undermine your credibility.
  5. When and Where Are You Blogging?! Don't blog on your personal blog during work hours. This may be specifically appropriate to special librarians who work for companies. Double check as to whether you can do a professional blog while at work. Some employers don't want you blogging about the work place. Others don't want you blogging during their work time. When it doubt, don't blog at work and don't blog during work time. Blogging is not worth losing your job over.
  6. Show Some Personality! Every blog should not be just a re-listing of your favorite news item or web site. Offer some incites and give some opinions. Not every blog entry leads itself to earth shattering commentary, but a blog devoid of opinion is the against the purpose of blogging. There are ways to give your opinion in a professional manner.
  7. Allow Comments! This sounds strange but I have been on sites that discourage or have eliminated comments. Again, what is the purpose of blogging if there is no two way communication between the blogger and readers?
  8. Share Experiences! Some of my favorite blogs are from people who have posted specifically what they are doing in their library. How they handled a situation, or what they loved about a specific product. I think this is one of the best examples of how blogs can enhance librarians jobs. Think of it as an extension of the library listserv you are on. Most often people email the list with questions. Very rarely does somebody email the list to brag or merely state how they did something or solved a problem. Why not use your blog to do that. Chances are somebody else can learn from you.
  9. Watch Sensitive Information! In the medical profession we are always reminded about confidentiality. I think most librarians immediately think of the confidentiality of their patrons, which is important. However, don't forget to think about any confidentiality agreements that your library has. If you are going to talk about a specific vendor and their services or prices, are those things bound by confidentiality clauses? For example if your library or library consortia made a huge wonderful deal with a specific vendor for online journal access, you might want to check to make sure you can post the nitty gritty details before you accidentally violate any confidentiality agreements.
  10. Have Fun! What is the point in doing anything unless you are having fun doing it?

Life After NIH

Life After the NIH
Library Journal
By Andrew Richard Albanese -- 4/15/2005
After a flawed policy, what's next for librarians and open access?

This article discusses the question of open access and various organizations attempts at open access. In particular NIH's access initiative (which is not truly open access) along with SPARC's work in open access and scholarly publishing reform.

One interesting quote from Stevan Harnad (a psychologist and early influential OA activist), "Open access is separate from the serials crisis," Harnad says flatly. "The sooner the serials crisis in libraries is disentangled from open access, he adds, the better for everyone. While it is understandable that librarians' support of open access grows from their own experiences with the market-skyrocketing journal prices, problems with digital copyright and permissions issues, archiving and preservation-these issues," Harnad says, "have now become conflated with open access. "

I have never thought of the open access issue as a separate issue from a serials crisis, but I can see his point.

For more information regarding OA check out,:
Open Access News
BioMed Central's Open Access Now

Friday, April 22, 2005

Blogs Will Change Your Business...Library

BusinessWeek online has an article Blogs Will Change Your Business.
Thanks Clare Leibfarth for alerting me to it.

It is a little long because the author attempts to write the article as if it is a blog, (I suspect this article will be in print, therefore, it would be difficult for him to truly write the article as a blog entry for the print magazine), but it is till a good read.

Brief excerpt:
"Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business -- including yours."

While this article focuses on the business side of blogs, it also illustrates the rapid dissemination of information in the blog world. However, who best to manage that information, lead users to quality resources? Librarians! Blogs are just one of the tools to do that.

What Search Sites Know About You

In the medical world their are a lot of privacy concerns. Here is just another to add to the list.

From: Wired News
What Search Sites Know About You
by Joanna Glasner

Brief excerpt:
"..while search engines are quite upfront about sharing their knowledge on topics you enter in the query box, it's not so clear what they know about you. As operators of the most popular search engines roll out more services that require user registration, industry observers and privacy advocates say it's become more feasible to associate a particular query with an individual. "

As a medical librarian, who has to look up different diseases, conditions, surgical procedures, etc. I wonder what "information" they are learning about me.

Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart

I found an interesting little article on Wired, by Adam Penenberg, Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart. The author draw compares some similarities between one of the largest retailers in America and one of the most profitable search engines.

A fun quick read for a Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ghostwriting in the Medical Literature World

Wow what timing, this coincides with my earlier blog about BMJ and Doctors and the Drug Industry.

Clare Leibfarth, medical librarian, posted a link to an article on medical journal articles being written by ghostwriters so that drug companies can appear to distance themselves from research.

Here is a quote from the article:

"Many articles in medical journals are ghostwritten to order for drug
companies, often by writers for medical communication companies, who appear
to be acting as intermediaries to distance drug companies from the

How I was asked to 'author' a ghostwritten research paper.
By Adriane Fugh-Berman,13026,1464037,00.html

Jan Velterop Leaving BioMed Central

Copied from liblicense email post.

Announcement, 20 April 2005

Jan Velterop, Director and Publisher of BioMed Central, will be leaving to
pursue independently his many engagements as an advocate of Open Access to
societies, funding institutions and publishers.

Jan has been a key figure in the development of the Open Access model and
its acceptance by the research community, and will now be extending his
expertise to other organizations and interest groups.

Matthew Cockerill and Anne Greenwood will take joint responsibility for
publishing and other activities of BioMed Central as the business
continues its rapid growth.

BioMed Central wishes Jan great success for the future and we look forward
to continuing to work together to advance the success of Open Access

Contact for enquiries:
Grace Baynes
Marketing Communications Manager
BioMed Central
[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7631 9988

NLM Resources for International Librarians & Researchers

NLM has a website with information on training, document delivery and other useful resources for the international community.

Doctors and the Drug Industry

BMJ has three articles on their main page under the heading Doctors and the Drug Industry.

The three articles are:
Say no to the free lunch -Fiona Godlee, editor, briefly states how little has changed in the drug industry regarding relationship and perks with drug reps and doctors. Provides links to related articles
The influence of big pharma -Editorial by R E Ferner, director, also briefly reports the widespread influences of the drug industry within England. Provides links to references as well as related articles.
Confessions of a drug rep -Film review Jeanne Lenzer, medical investigative journalist, on a movie which claims to give an inside look at the pharmacy industry, specifically pharmacy reps and the extremes they go to get more sales from doctors. An illuminating bit of information is that pharmacy reps know the prescribing information for each doctor. They know whether the doctor is prescribing more of one drug over another. Every single drug they prescribe has been tracked and the drug reps have that information.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

PBL Classes and Blogging?

Are there any medical schools or medical libraries (associated with medical schools) that are doing blogging in the PBL classes?

I thought a blog (a central, dynamic, information sharing site) would be the perfect tool for the dissemination of information and the fostering of discussion within the PBL classes.

I have sat in on a few PBL classes (at my previous library position) and there is a ton of information that gets discussed and researched. Each PBL class is given a case in which they must work through with others in their group. Often each group member does research and learns information that they then discuss in their next meeting. What I have noticed is that often their are notes all over the place, dry erase board drawings, and photocopies scattered all over the table. It occurred to me that a blog would be a great place to post all of the information gleaned from the PBL class sessions. This would allow all group members to have the same information in one central site and foster their group discussion and learning beyond the normal PBL class time.

So my question is, Do you know of any libraries or medical schools using blogs for this purpose? Please let me know.

Wiley InterScience Launches the Analytical Sciences Backfile Collection

Wiley InterScience announced the launch of the Analytical Sciences Backfile Collection. This collection is second collection to be launched. The Cell & Developmental Biology Backfile Collection was launched in late February.

The Analytical Sciences Backfile Collection is available via Wiley InterScience:

The collection contains approximately 24,000 research articles from 1968-1998 in analytical sciences. All articles are available in HTML or PDF and link to cited content within Wiley, CrossRef/DOI, PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and CAS.

Preview Highwire Press New Site

Many medical librarians use Highwire Press for their information to various journals (either subscription based or free titles). Highwire Press has just released preview of the new HighWire Press portal is designed to let you find your way around and test the new features in advance of the public release.

Here are some of the changes:
For a complete list check out their detailed description of changes page.

Home Page Changes:

  • Improved Information Layout- descriptive text links are in a central, visible location and unnecessary information was removed from the home page.
  • Less Information per Page- reduced the amount of information on the page, making the site feel less crowded
Search Improvements:
  • Improved "Quick Search"- redesigned the "quick search" box, resulting in a simple search tool
  • Fewer Steps- enhanced the "quick search" box on the home page, making the most popular search capabilities available to users directly from the home page
  • Simpler Advanced Search- simplified the design of the advanced search page
Search Results Changes:
  • Better Search Results Display- reorganized and reformatted the article display to facilitate the primary user goal: scan titles, journals, and abstracts for relevancy.
  • Easier Search Refinement- redesigned the top portion of the search results page with a new interface that gives users quick methods for modifying their search.

Take the new site for a test drive. However, do not use it for creating or modifying alerts, institutional subscription records, or anything else where you would like to see your work saved. Highwire Press is interested in your opinion regarding their new site, contact them to give feedback.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A new link called Special Queries will be added to PubMed's blue side bar.
Like the Clinical Queries link that takes you to a page providing
specialized PubMed searches for clinicians, the Special Queries link
provides access to a directory of topic-specific PubMed queries.

For more information, see the NLM Technical Bulletin at:

CyberTools For Libraries...Thoughts From Our Web Demo

As you some of you may know we are evaluating ILS for our library. Currently we have a card catalog and we are a small/medium size medical hospital that is a part of a larger hospital system. Yesterday we (along with a few other librarians in our hospital system) got to see a web demo of CyberTools. I have to admit I was impressed. I will briefly explain some of the features that impressed me and a few things I think might be improved upon. Please remember that this is just my first impression and opinion of the product based on their web demo. We don’t have the product so the information I have is gleaned from my memory and notes.

ASP Hosted Service: It seems this becoming more and more popular these days. Instead of buying a server, loading software, and performing maintenance, some libraries are now “leasing” space on the server from the vendor. It depends upon your library but it can definitely have some benefits. The library no longer has to worry about upgrading software, hardware, maintenance, data backup, and security.

Price: CyberTools is affordable. A one-time set up fee $499 and it is $150/lib. staff user, per month. That price includes: Web OPAC, Cataloging with Authority Control, Authority Management, Circulation, Serials Management, Z39.50 retrieval of records, and Reports.
Acquisitions and Z39.50 server is extra. (The Z39.50 server feature allows others to search your catalog and import your records into their catalog.)
CyberTools also offers a Union catalog (for a consortia) for no additional fee, and they offer discounts on the one time set up fee and training based on the amount of library staff user purchased.
CyberTools also works with librarians who must work at two separate hospitals in the system. For example: Good Health Hospital and Great Health Hospital are a part of Superior Medicine Hospital System. Lilly Librarian is the librarian for Good Health Hospital Library Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesday and Thursday Lilly is the librarian at Great Health Hospital Library. CyberTools works with the librarian so that Good and Great Health share the cost of only one library staff user license. They don’t need to buy one library staff user license per hospital library in this case.

You can easily download your MARC records and import them into your catalog. CyberTools brings the annual NLM MeSH changes to you, complete with scope notes, "X", and "See Related" changes. At the same time, all the bibliographic records are also updated, resulting in your current MeSH Authority being synchronized with your bibs.

Their serials component is integrated with your system, which is a really nice feature for medical libraries. It is extremely robust and flexible with serials check-in and routing, claiming, bindery management, reporting.

OpenURL Link Resolver:
If you are using other databases such as Ovid you can have your holdings tagged within Ovid so that your user can click on the icon next to the citation and determine whether your library has access to that particular journal. I was very impressed with this. However, I have had previous experience with some OpenURL resolving products and I can be very picky as to how “easy and well they work.” Since I do not own CyberTools, I can only say that they have this option and it looks to be interesting. Since they have an OpenURL resolving product, I think it would also be nice if CyberTools worked with Google Scholar to tag our collections within Google as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog about Serials Solutions linking libraries in Google. It is something to think about and play with.

There are a lot of things I really liked about CyberTools…price was just one part of the piece. It seems they have a nice flexible systems for librarians.

No vendor’s system is perfect, these are the things that I think could be improved.

Circulation: I would love to have an easy patron initiated check out system. I am not around my library 24/7 (thank God), but my library is always open to hospital employees. I would like something that is quick and easy for our patrons to use to check out books.
Not only should it be quick and easy for patrons (already in the database) to check out books, but it should also allow patrons who are not in the database to add themselves so they can check out a book.
Bottom line, I want something that patrons can easily use when I am not here nights and weekends, because if it isn’t easy, my books are going to walk.

Look and Feel:
This is very subjective and I admit picky on my part. (This is where EOS really seems to outshine CyberTools.)

The library staff module is VERY windows driven. The window is also fairly small. I think it would be better if the staff work window displays full screen size. I think it would be best if CyberTools made their library staff module look and feel more web driven. While you are in staff mode it seems you must bounce back and forth between windows. It would be nice if you had one web screen that you were working in. If you wanted to move from cataloging to serials, you could easily click on a menu button on the side (or top) of the page. There should also be a nice toggle button to switch back and forth between library staff view and patron view. Currently if you want to see how something displays in the catalog to patrons, you must open up a separate window.
Icing on the cake would be to allow the web catalog (patron side) to also serve as a mini library web site. The librarian could add buttons or hot links to various library resources, such as Ovid, PubMed, MDConsult, FullText Resources. The library could also have FAQ’s, Library Hours, etc. I realize that the web catalog is outside of the library’s intranet so certain paid subscription things like Ovid would not work unless the person was within the hospital’s IP range, but to have all of the resources on site like the catalog web page is invaluable.

As I said we just saw a demo, we do not own CyberTools. It would be interesting if others in the library world who use CyberTools could add their comments to this blog. I think it would be very helpful to me and others considering an ILS.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Google Links With Library Holdings

Library Journal has a news article "Google Scholar Links with Libs." Libraries with Open URL link resolvers such as SFX by Ex Libris, Article Linker by Serials Solutions, and 1Cate by Openly Informatics, authorize the company providing the link resolver to give Google its holdings information. Google then highlights links in Google Scholar results pages that cite items the library holds.

Interesting.... While it makes me cringe (ala nails on a black board) to hear when my doctors/researchers just do a search in Google for information (not in Medline), I think a link resolver tagging (for lack of a better word) the library owned resources within Google Scholar is very helpful. I would love for something similar to work in with books. However, I am not sure how Google and the link resolver companies deal with information that doesn't have a PMID or a DOI.

Adobe to buy Macromedia

Adobe Systems announced today that it has agreed to buy multimedia software maker Macromedia. I am sure this will lead to some interesting things for multimedia and the internet, especially in handhelds and web design.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Advanced NCBI Training

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is offering an advanced training course designed specifically for information specialists who provide support to users of NCBI's molecular biology services.

It is a five-day course is scheduled for August 1-5, 2005, at the National Library of Medicine, and is approved for 40 MLA C.E. contact hours.
It is free, but you must cover your own travel, food, and hotel costs.

Class size is restricted to 9 people, and you will be inform about your acceptance into the course by June 10, 2005.
The course is restricted to those who have knowledge of molecular biology or genetics and basic experience with NCBI resources such as Entrez, BLAST, Cn3D, and Map Viewer.

For more information:
For an application:

"Throw the Tech Savvy Librarians Out of Our Libraries"

Wow. I am sitting back reading my news and blogs while sipping my coke this morning, (I need the caffeine and I hate coffee) when I read the post on Library Stuff, "Throw the Tech Savvy Librarians Out of Our Libraries." That is an eye opener for this non-morning person.

Cohen is referring to Chuck Munson blog against, the so-called "tech savvy" librarians, specifically blogging tech savvy librarians.
Here is a quote from Chuck Munson blog:
"New technologies have certainly added something to libraries, but what the [f bomb] does RSS newsfeeds or XML metadat schemes have to do with serving patrons and getting people to read books? This is all just the same old librarian elitism: we have to make the newest technology to enlighten the masses. It's like these technophiles are worried that they will be seen an uncool if they aren't pushing the latest technology."

He rants on about sacking library web masters, losing all of the library tech "crap", and getting libraries back to the good ol' days of providing books, printed materials, and education to patrons. Apparently, "These tech savvy librarians are also the ones responsible for the disappearance of books and other printed materials from our libraries."

Um yeah, what can I say to that? Huh, well uh he is entitled to his opinion. I personally think Cohen's response is pretty good.

I just want to add to Cohen's response:
1. I find it a little ironic that Munson is using a BLOG which is pretty techie to express his hatred of librarian techies and everything library tech.
2. Last time I checked the books missing from my shelves were from my patrons usage not me throwing everything out to go digital.
3. Mr. Munson if you want to throw the computers out of the library, good luck trying to get a patron to come in to do research. My patrons won't touch my antiquated card catalog, (the only way to find our books since I don't have an OPAC yet). They look at the card catalog like it might give them some sort of venereal disease, can you imagine the horror on their faces if I told them to do their Medline searches in the Index Medicus books?! My library would be a ghost town.

Blogging and library technology has its places in libraries and librarianship, and it should not be thought of as a replacement to libraries or librarians. It should be thought of an enhancement, sort of the ice in your morning cup of coke.

Open Access Fees...What is Cheaper, Institutional Membership or Pay Per Published Article?

This was a posted on liblicense-l:
"Is it cheaper in an Open Access producer-pays model to take an
institutional membership over paying per article published? The results
of this analysis of two research institutions suggests that institutions
could save money if they paid by the article."

Philip Davis (Cornell) and David Stern (Yale) conducted a study to determine whether it was cheaper in an Open Access producer-pays model for a library to have an institutional membership over paying per article published.

The study was done at Cornell and Yale and it turns out that it can be actually cheaper for the libraries to pay per published article and not have an institutional membership. This is interesting since Cornell and Yale are highly respected and highly published research institutions, one would think that the and institutional membership would have been the most cost effective method.

This is a very interesting study. Here is their manuscript and their spreadsheet analysis. I look forward to reading more about this.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Patient Safety

"AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet) is a new national web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety."

It is already nicely featured as a Resource of the Week in Gary Price's blog ResourceShelf.

LexisNexis Theft Worse Than Originally Thought

While LexisNexis is not the tool of choice for medical librarians, there are some out there whose medical libraries have access to the database.

MSNBC has an article published April 12, 2005, LexisNexis theft much worse than thought, says that originally, the company reported that hackers may have accessed personal details of 32,000 people. However, it says that figure is now discovered to be closer to 310,000. The profiles were believed to have been stolen from Seisint, a recently acquired subsidiary of LexisNexis. The information accessed included names, addresses, Social Security and driver license numbers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Cookie Monster

I admit that I am stretching the scope of my blog a little with Cookie Monster, but the article is about nutrition. Ok you caught me, it is just a fun read.

I tripped over this article on CNN the other day, Has Cookie Monster given up sweets? Apparently the folks at PBS and CTW are focusing on healthy lifestyle habits this year. As a result Cookie Monster will now be eating more healthy food and even has a new song to go with his improved diet, "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food."

Some how I have got to think that the song "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food," just doesn't have the same ring as "C Is For Cookie," (which incendently is rarely aired these days....I have a two year old and he has only heard "C is For Cookie" off an old video tape).

What has this world come to? The next thing you know Sesame Street will have 1/3 of their program devoted to an annoying little red furry monster who talks in the third person to his gold fish.

Freestyle Tagging

The April 18th issue of Newsweek, the article In the New Game of Tag, All of Us Are It by Steven Levy, talks the practice of tagging. Tagging is a process done on the fly where people do the categorizing and label information on the web so that it can be easily retrieved later. It is an interesting article. It mentions two sites. which bills itself as a social bookmarks manager, categorizing your personal collection of web page links. Flickr, a photo storage and share site. According to the article "order seems to emerge from the chaos of freestyle labeling," and these two sites illustrate that.

As a librarian there is something deep within my core that screams that user tagging will create chaotic pool of information. However, the user side of me tells me that this might be good and users seem to want this. Two little devils sitting on my shoulders debating tagging, maybe I should get out more often.

Most Prolific and Cited Journals and Universities

Incites is an editorial component of ISI Essential Science Indicators composed a list of the Top Ten Most Prolific Journals from 1994-2004 and Top Ten Most Prolific U.S. Universities from 1993-2003
*Drum Roll Please*

In the category for most prolific journal, the winner is.... Journal of Biological Chemistry with 60,399 articles published.

In the category of Top Ten Most-Cited Journals, 1994-2004, the winner is.... Journal of Biological Chemistry with 1,740,902 citations.

In the category for most prolific university, the winner is.... Harvard University with 39,900 articles published.

Other bits of information that you can find on Incites, Twenty Years of Citation Superstars!, Hot Paper in Medicine, Hot Paper in Biology, as well as hot papers in other topics.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

AHA Journals, Ovid, LWW, Highwire

Please why doesn't one of these giants (AHA Journals, Ovid, LWW, Highwire) figure out an established policy for getting online access to the AHA Journals through Highwire!!! Once they do that, then they should inform all of their customer service reps. so that you don't have to get transferred multiple times to some soul that you hope might have the correct information.

I just spoke with a librarian at another medical library. Her library has paid access to the AHA journals through Ovid. The problem is that Ovid (who is owned by the LWW) is not giving the subscribers access to the pre-published articles. HOWEVER, if you had online access to the AHA journals through Highwire you get the pre-published articles. This library was told that they would have to pay TWICE so they could get access to the AHA journals through Highwire, just so they could get the pre-published articles.

First problem: Customer Service doesn't know!
When I have spoken to anybody in customer service at AHA Journals, Ovid, LWW, or Highwire, not one person has given me correct or reliable answers. Plus each person has told me to contact the other's customer service department.

Second problem: Unequal Access!
You pay big bucks to have online access to the AHA journals through Ovid. You are told this will include everything, IN FACT if you go to Ovid's site there is no mention of pre-published materials for the AHA journals. It lists them as 1993-Present! But, you don't get the pre-published material that your users want. However, when if have access to the AHA journals through the AHA site you get access to the pre-published material. OVID GET WITH IT! GET THE PRE-PUBLISHED MATERIAL! This is not a new phenomenon or a sudden news flash that you are missing the pre-published material.

Why would a library pay for access to the AHA journals through Ovid, when they can pay to have access through Highwire?!?! Personally, it isn't worth having the AHA Journals through Ovid. Users hate browsing for journal articles on Ovid (from my experience) and the material (the pre-published articles) isn't available.

Really this kind of service reflects poorly on the AHA and Ovid. However, our users (physicians) who are interested in publishing are going to notice this more as a reflection of poor service from AHA. Our physicians know the AHA better than they know Ovid, after all they submit their articles to the AHA not Ovid.

I invite somebody to please settle this problem. I would love for somebody from Ovid or the AHA to comment or contact me regarding this issue. Ever since LWW decided to move their publications to Ovid for institutional access, there has been nothing but problems.

eHealth Initiative and IT Healthcare Information

The eHealth Initiative, a web site that was launched in 2004 in order to facilitate information-sharing among health IT experts worldwide, recently launched a global online resource center. The Resource center includes information on health information technology initiatives across the world, information related to IT funding, technical issues and personnel, as well as information on engaging citizens and consumers using IT to improve treatment efforts.

Some examples of information found in the Resource center of eHealth Initiative:




Monday, April 11, 2005

Blogging For Science and Technology Libraries

Here is an interesting article from Science and Technology Libraries, Vo. 25 (3) 2005. Weblogs: Their Use and Application in Science and Technology Libraries. Randy Richardt, Geoffrey Harder.
Author Info:
Randy Reichardt, Engineering Librarian, University of Alberta, Edmonton; and Geoffrey Harder, Biological Sciences and Computing Science Librarian, University of Alberta, Edmonton

Open-Access Journals Flourish

One of the top stories today on Wired News is Open-Access Journals Flourish. According the article, there are 300 more free journals within the last couple of months. There are approximately 1,525 journals provide free access (5-10% of the worlds journals). These free journals are being read and are commonly cited by authors in other journals. Additionally, is a growing number of journals that are allowing free access to their archives.

This is nice brief little article that just touches on some of the major issues like author pay model versus advertising. So, if you are looking for anything in depth you might want to look at the Open Access News blog which can give you some more in depth information.

Friday, April 08, 2005

MDConsult, FirstConsult, iConsult and the EMR

I just attended an MDConsult info meeting yesterday and I was very impressed with iConsult. It is a clinical decision support product that integrates clinical reference directly into your workflow applications, delivering evidence-based medical information at the point of care, in the Electronic Medical Record.

MDConsult has been working with various electronic medical record systems so that their product, iConsult provides instant access to information on diagnoses, therapy options, and patient education embedded in the EMR.

From the demonstration and what I could understand iConsult is the component that brings the FirstConsult information to the EMR.
What is FirstConsult? FirstConsult is a evidence based clinical information tool for health care providers.

It contains:
  • Differential Diagnoses Files for rapid evaluation of presenting signs and symptoms, with interactive access to lists of over 1,500 potential diagnoses sorted by age and prevalence in primary care
  • FIRSTConsult's Medical Conditions database presents consistently organized, regularly updated information on patient evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, tests, prevention and much more: each Medical Condition File is organized into 7 sections (Summary, Background, Diagnosis, Treatment, Outcomes, Prevention, Resources) and then into 55 topic headings, thereby providing access to over 20,000 disease-specific topics in total
  • Procedure Files provide systematic guidance, in the form of text and video, on over 30 surgical and diagnostic procedures commonly performed in the office setting
  • Reference Centers offer practical advice on topics that are not disease-specific, such as Bioterrorism, Pregnancy and Contraception
  • Patient Education Files written in both English and Spanish

FirstConsult is seamlessly integrated with MDConsult. This allows health care providers to easily get more in depth information from the texts, journals, and practice guidelines within MDConsult.

So as you can see a hospital system that has iConsult working within in their EMR system, they have access to FirstConsult's clinical decision information at their finger tips within the patient's record, and they can get more in depth information seamlessly from MDConsult.

iConsult is still in beta testing but from what was demonstrated, it looks to be very promising. Already they have plans to update the second generation of iConsult with your hospital's formulary information and allow you to create and change your order sets.

This is huge! Of course this also involves other hospital departments more so than many library products. iConsult works within the EMR so this would mean that your IT people would/should/must be involved. There are many hospitals that are striving to get in to the electronic medical record in a big way, especially since President Bush spoke about it at the Cleveland Clinic. Obviously having three products like this might be too pricey for some smaller libraries. But who is to say that the library has to pay for the costs of all three products, involve other departments. This product is a part of the patient's EMR, so it effects multiple hospital departments and patient care, therefore multiple departments should/could help pay for it.

So go to your supervisor's, your IT people, whoever is in charge of your hospital's EMR campaign and inform them of iConsult.

For more information on iConsult, check out their home page It contains a demo of iConsult within an EMR, technology information, and product information including information for healthcare organizations interested in joining there beta testing program.

For more information FirstConsult check out their home page It contains information on the already established product and also has information on what users are saying about FirstConsult, specifically an excerpt from the Journal of Family Practice: June 2004. Vol. 53, No. 6.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Designing Library Web Pages

By now everybody has some sort of library web page (Intranet, Internet, or both), and we should all be evaluating our web pages and try to do a redesign at least every 2 years.
Why every 2 years? Things change, you have more online resources, you switch resource vendors, your users are increasingly more savvy and demanding.

It is very easy for librarians to have a myopic view of their site. In other words they accidentally start to think as the librarian and not the user.
For example:
We conducted a user survey to determine our user's needs and their thoughts and behavior patterns when they searched our Intranet page for information. The results were illuminating.
Most users were confused by the term database, they weren't sure what a database was and why they would use it. The web page usually referred to journals on the shelves as "print journals" or "print collection." These terms were confusing to our users, they inferred that meant you could click the print button on the screen for an online article. Many users were unfamiliar with a catalog and what information could be found in a catalog. Some users were searching the catalog as they would search an online database. They would plug in a phrase and expect to get a list of online full text articles displayed.

Now keep in mind this user survey was given to doctors, residents, interns, hospital administrators. These people were fairly educated users and there was confusion with these concepts. Can you imagine what happens when you start to library jargon like; ILL, OPAC, MeSH, etc.?

If you are interested in redesigning your site you might want to check out Vincent Flander's Web Pages That Suck page on The Biggest Web Design Mistakes of 2004.

In my example, the library's original intranet site that contained library jargon or confusing terms unknowingly committed one of the biggest design mistakes. We accidentally the web site for our (librarian) needs, not our patron needs.

According to Flanders, "What visitors care about is getting their problems solved. Most people visit a web site to solve one or more of the following three problems. 1. They want/need information. 2. They want/need to make a purchase / donation. 3. They want/need to be entertained."

If your patrons can't get what they want from your web site (information) then they will go to your competitor's site (Google).

There are 14 of these biggest mistakes. Don't worry you don't need to be web geek to understand what he is saying. If you are not the web designer for you site, still look through the list so that you can offer suggestions and constructive criticism to your web designer. It will give you a new way to look at your web site.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Companies Pay Freelance Librarian for Information

Here is an interesting article, Search-engine savvy librarian shares some of her expertise by By Pam Mellskog, The Daily Times-Call.

Ellen Bates, the librarian, is hired by companies to find information. She has long since abandoned using Google, saying “The secret is, you don’t do a Google search. You go to where the information is. There’s the invisible web, and Google doesn’t have a library card.”

She prefers directories over search engines, “A search engine spider is not creative,” she explained. “It doesn’t initiate or interact. They don’t type. So, anything that requires an ID or password, it will never show up. All a search engine spider knows how to do is to go to a page and search all its words.”

The article lists some internet directory sites as well as some invisible web sites. It is a neat little article in that it is just another hard example to show your administrators, powers that be, or your patrons that Google doesn't have everything.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

LinkOut Survey

NLM has a survey to asses the need for LinkOut training and determine the level of interest in implementing LinkOut in the NLM Catalog so that you can display your local holdings in the catalog.

The survey is available at

Global Info on AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis, & Malaria is intended to provide the latest news and information about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide. This is a free resource site.

Some of things that includes:

  • Resources, reference libraries and the latest information and statistics on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria
  • Reporting resources for journalists, including media contacts, tutorials and other educational, training and grant opportunities for health reporters
  • Country-focus pages with in-depth information and resources about the three diseases

One of things I like about this site is that it is good place to start looking for statistics on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. This site tends to be a targeted a little bit more towards journalists, but this might be a site to quickly check if your doctor is requesting information on something he read in the paper about HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Blogging: Bubble Or Big Deal?

Forrester Research has come out with another interesting report regarding blogging. This report is 18 pages and is FREE (requires registration).

Here is their Executive Summary.
"Although Weblogs (blogs) are currently used by only a small number of online consumers, they've garnered a great deal of corporate attention because their readers and writers are highly influential. Forrester believes that blogging will grow in importance, and at a minimum, companies should monitor blogs to learn what is being said about their products and services. Companies that plan to create their own public blogs should already feel comfortable having a close, two-way relationship with users. In this document we recommend best practices, including a blogging code of ethics, and metrics that will show the impact of blogs on business goals."

This report is more directed at blogs in the business world, how companies can use their own public blogs to create relationship with users. Even though libraries, tend to run slightly differently than the corporate world, this report can be very illuminating. Libraries are constantly trying to create a "two-way relationship" with its patrons, and now days many more hospital libraries are asked to show the impact of their services in relation to their business (hospitals) goals.

Doctors Using Handhelds, But Not for Medicine

Forrester Research surveyed 1,331 physicians and found quite a few interesting things. The report is five pages and not free ($49.99...ouch), but they provide an executive summary, and CIO Insight has a little bit longer summary.

Although there are a lot of physicians who have handheld computers, most are not using them with EMRs. It turns out that the majority of physicians who have handheld computers state "their medical practice did not have means to chart and record clinical details or enter patient prescriptions directly into an electronic system."

Here are some stats that Forrester discovered:
  • U.S. physicians are five times as likely as general consumers to use handheld computers, but less than a third of physicians who have mobile electronic medical records actually use them.
  • Fifty-seven percent of surveyed doctors reported using some sort of handheld computer.
  • The least likely segments to use handhelds are; female doctors, older physicians, surgeons and those employed in small practices.
  • General practice physicians are the most likely to use handheld computers (73%) as well as those at large practices (63%).
  • Using handhelds to manage appointments and contacts was most popular.
  • 65 percent physicians reported using handhelds to check medications, however only 5%-7%used the handhelds to order medications, check lab results or access patient records.
  • One interesting note, "if a medical practice did support electronic prescribing, nearly three-fifths of the physicians used their handhelds to do so."

Friday, April 01, 2005

Out Sick

Sorry but I was out yesterday and I will be out today, I think my son gave me the plague....ok a more like horrible sinus infection.

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: